Friday, December 17, 2010

Stumbling Into Success

     I thought I would continue the discussion we started yesterday, by showing a couple of prints that turned out to be home runs for me.  I decided early in my career, that Limited Edition prints were an option for me.  They are what are referred to as gicleés (archivally sound prints – I print mine on Velvet Fine Art Paper, which resembles watercolor paper).  I print them in editions of 25, and each is signed and numbered.  The Limited Edition prints appeal to art lovers who can’t afford my originals, and are often a first step before buying a small original.
      What would be helpful, for the sake of this discussion, would be if I could explain to you why they struck a chord, but to tell you the truth, I would be on thin ice with nothing more than a W.A.G.  (wild-ass guess).
Coyote Dun
     The first print to be a winner was The Coyote Dun.  I think the emotion and posture of this image are what people respond to.  I think I mentioned this image in a previous post, but it has been an unusually popular print, especially with the ranching and cowboy crowd.  Believe me, they don’t toss their money around unless it’s authentic, so in that regard, I was pleased.  Incidentally, I have three left in the edition.
     My next big seller was a print, called Big Air.
Big Air
     My final artistic coup is a toss up between two prints:  a longhorn print called Coastal Cruiser and a cowboy painting called Won’t Suffer Fools.  I think Coastal Cruiser can hang part of its success to living near the University of Texas.  If you can’t sell longhorns to Texans, it’s probably time to start looking for a new exit to take. 
Coastal Cruiser
     I believe Won’t Suffer Fools owes its success to an iconic cowboy image and a good story.  International Artist magazine liked the image enough to publish it in their Painting People and Figures book. (Every little bit helps).  Both prints have less than 5 available in their editions.
Won't Suffer Fools
     So there you have it.  I can’t pick a winner any better than you.  How do I decide which paintings to make prints of?  Well, I don’t make many prints….less and less over time….so it has to be a special painting that warrants it.  And when you think you know the whimsy of the art market, get ready, because you’re about to get your proverbial ass handed to you.  So much of art marketing is taking an image and stepping out on the limb, or the cliff, or over the yellow line, and trying to make it work.  It may fly---or you may get smashed.  But you’ll know more than you did and you might just hit a home run.  The real trick here is persistence. 

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